Erdogan’s Turkey in dire straits for flip flop policies in the Middle East

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (in the middle) held a Press conference on Friday 5 January 2018, at Istanbul Airport, before flying to France. In relation to the Hakan Atilla case in the U.S., he said: “If this is the U.S.’ understanding of justice, then the world is doomed.” (Presidency of the Republic of Turkey work).

Last week a US federal court convicted Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive of Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank. This is a major financial institution of this country, controlled directly by the government. Attila found guilty on five accounts, for evading the American sanctions imposed on Iran. Most of those punitive measures were lifted in April 2015, in the context of the P5+1 agreement between Iran and six global powers (US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany).

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a Press Conference called this court decision a political attack against his government. He also stressed that after this development, he is obliged to question all the bilateral agreements the two countries have concluded. The main witness for the accusation testified that Atilla, had colluded with Erdogan in order to dodge the US and help Iran get hold of hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign currency, in a number of transactions with Iranian gold.

The witness also left it to be understood that there must have also been some personal ‘gains’ for Erdogan himself out of these transactions. This is the latest episode in a series of continuously deteriorating relations between Turkey and the West in general and the US in particular. But let’s take the story from the beginning.

In dire straits

Turkey’s President and together with him his troubled country are between a rock and hard place, or more scholarly, between Scylla and Charybdis for quite some time now. On the one side, his great grand project to lead the Muslim world is in ruins. It has exposed him as an unscrupulous and opportunist, unable to understand and cope with the diversity of Middle East politics. His grandiose project ended up in building enmity between Turkey and the United States, Europe and key Middle Eastern countries like Egypt and Israel.

At home, it paid very few dividends for Erdogan. Finally, it has harshly hit back and Erdogan has lost all credibility with the West. During the past year, the Americans decided they cannot count on him for anything in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the wider region.

Exploited by Moscow

On the Charybdis side, Erdogan didn’t find the support he expected from Putin’s Russia, after embracing Moscow and discarding the traditional western affiliation of Turkey, the only Muslim NATO country. Moscow exploited Erdogan’s help to gain a dominant position in Syria. In this way, Russia greatly strengthened  her presence in the Middle East. At the same time, Turkey hasn’t received anything tangible from Putin. The token gesture of the sale of the Russian S-400 missiles to Turkey is yet to materialize.  In the end, very probably, this state of the art weaponry will remain under direct Moscow’s control even when deployed in Turkey.

All along Turkey’s flip flop policies in the Syrian civil war and the wider Middle East in general, her setbacks were exacerbated by Erdogan’s unrestricted, antagonistic and superfluous rhetoric. On many occasions, he attacked  a number of European countries with harsh words. Germany and Holland became top targets for not letting him to transfer his all out fight for personal supremacy at home on their soil. While on official visit in Washington D.C. and the White House he even dared to let his personal security brutally attack some peaceful American demonstrators, who were critical of his harsh appeasement of any opposition voice at home.

The US dumps Erdogan

The Americans finally decided they couldn’t trust Erdogan’s Turkey for anything. So, Washington in her total war against the ISIS butchers in Syria and Iraq chose to rely on Turkey’s arch enemy, the Kurds. For the US objectives in the Syrian civil war, the Kurds proved to be the only effective force on the ground, and a trustworthy interlocutor in the negotiations table. It was then plain to Americans; if they wanted to play any role in Syria, they were obliged to totally depend on the Kurds. In Iraq too, the Kurds were a great help to extinguish the ISIS presence there.

In Syria, as the Russians and the Iranians were making impressive military progress on the ground supporting President ‎Bahsar al-Assad’s forces, the Americans kept increasing their support and supplies of armaments to the Kurds. Erdogan couldn’t swallow this US strategy and panicky rushed to embrace the other side, the Russians and the Iranians. However, in this way he was exposed at home as ‘a useful idiot’ for the West and unequivocally unreliable if not a foe for the US and Europe.

Choosing Iran

Things became even worse for Turkey some months ago, on the occasion of the official visit of the American President Donald Trump to Riyadh. On that instance, it became clear that the Americans had singled out Iran as No 1 enemy in the Middle East, sharing the fears of their closest allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Israel. On the other side of the fence, Ankara is aligned with Moscow and Tehran. The trio now aims to solve the Syrian Gordian Knot by themselves, totally sidestepping the West. This is seen in Washington as an act of direct attack against the American interests. The US – Turkey enmity was also ostentatiously confirmed when Ankara assumed a leading role in opposing the Tel Aviv – Washington plan, to make Jerusalem the capital of the Israeli state.

No wonder then why the American Department of Justice is actively probing Turkey’s many grey interests. Actually, ex US marine general Michael Flynn is indicted by the special Counsel Robert Mueller, not only for secretly working for Russia but for Ankara too. Is not clear yet if the Americans have revived their old plans, from the time of WWI, for the creation of an independent Kurdish state, but they are seemingly not to back off now for the sake of Erdogan. If this is the case, he will prove a catastrophe for his country, victimizing Turkey for his beyond measure ego.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

We must help developing countries escape commodity dependence

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

Venezuela migrant crisis begs a ‘coherent, predictable and harmonized’ response: UNHCR

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

How to stop plastic pollution at source

World must avoid a new Cold War, UN chief tells economic forum in Russia

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

Baku forum to push back against ‘rise of hate’ with strong call for cultural and religious tolerance, says UN official

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, during a recent press conference in Brussels / Berlaymont. (Copyright: EU, 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart)

EU opens investigation into Qatar Petroleum over potentially restrictive gas contracts

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

DR Congo: Insecurity and attacks mean Ebola will keep spreading, warns world health agency

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

Elections in Europe: No risks for the EU, leaders readying to face Trump-Brexit

An economist explains how to value the internet

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

This is what the world’s CEOs really think of AI

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Draghi drafts a plan to donate more money to bankers, the era of ‘money for nothin’ is flourishing

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Hopes for Palestinian State hit by ‘facts on the ground’ : senior UN official

European Commission reacts to the US restrictions on steel and aluminium affecting the EU

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia: Security Council

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

“We need to use the momentum globally to ensure that corporations pay their fare share of taxation”, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis outlines from the World Economic Forum 2017.

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

Education remains an impossible dream for many refugees and migrants

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

More funding needed to tackle child labour in agriculture says UN, marking World Day

Would you let an AI vote for you?

This crisis cannot be confronted with statistics

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

School closures triple in Central and Western Africa as education comes under fire

This Japanese company pays its employees to get a good night’s sleep

5G in Russia: a local and global view on the way forward, in association with The European Sting

Three steps we must take to secure the future of our forests

These are the top countries for travel and tourism in 2019

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s